December 10, 2015 / 10:25 AM / in 2 years

CAS to announce Platini decision on Friday

LONDON (Reuters) - Sport’s highest tribunal will announce its decision on Friday whether or not to temporarily lift the 90-day suspension on Michel Platini, barring him from seeking the presidency of soccer’s scandal-plagued governing body FIFA.

UEFA President Michel Platini smiles as he arrives for a hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland December 8, 2015. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Platini, the European soccer boss who until recently was seen as the man to lead FIFA out of its worst ever graft crisis, was suspended by FIFA’s ethics committee on Oct. 8 pending a full investigation into his conduct.

Sepp Blatter, who has been FIFA president since 1998, was also suspended after being swept up by a crisis that has led to criminal investigations into the sport in both Switzerland and the United States.

The Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said in a statement on Thursday its panel had heard the parties’ arguments, and would announce its decision on Platini at around 10.00am local time (4 a.m. ET) on Friday.

Former France captain Platini, president of UEFA since 2002, has registered as a candidate for the Feb. 26 election to choose a successor to Blatter, but cannot run while banned.

Even a temporary lifting of the provisional ban by CAS could allow Platini to run, although FIFA’s electoral commission said it would study the case depending on the timing.

Platini was provisionally suspended after becoming embroiled in the long-running saga of corruption in soccer’s world governing body.

An investigation centers on a 2 million Swiss franc payment from FIFA to Platini in 2011 for work he completed between 1998 and 2002.

Both Blatter and Platini deny any wrongdoing. They appealed against their bans to FIFA but they were rejected in November.

FIFA’s ethics committee has said it expects to make a final decision in the case, which could involve a ban of several years for both men, by the end of December.

The FIFA corruption scandal broke in May with a police raid and arrests of soccer officials at a Zurich hotel just before a congress of the body.

Some 14 officials, including two former vice-presidents, have been indicted in the United States.

The allegations of corruption within FIFA prompted Blatter to say in June he would resign, days after being re-elected for a fifth term.

Writing by Ossian Shine and Martyn Herman; editing by Sudipto Ganguly

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